Specialty Breads

  • Raymond Calvel


Country-style bread1 epitomizes the dominant aspects of the countryside and the supposed virtues that are attributed to it: naturalness, simplicity, and a rustic wholesomeness. To achieve such results,
  • the flour used should be a type 55, naturally pure flour that may occasionally include a small addition of “gray” high extraction, high ash flour (farine bise), or type 130 rye flour (medium rye flour);

  • the mixing stage of dough production must avoid excessive mechanical working of the dough or overoxidation;

  • dough fermentation should include a very long first fermentation, or even better, the addition of a fairly large proportion of a fermented culture, such as levain de pâte, levain-levure, poolish, or pâte fermentée;

  • the dough pieces should be fairly tightly formed during molding, and the second fermentation should not be overly long or excessive;

  • whether the dough pieces are flour dusted or not, baking should be at a slightly reduced temperature, and steam injection may or may not be used;

  • the bread must be thoroughly baked;

  • the crumb should have a clear light cream tint with slight grayish undertones;

  • the crumb structure should be open, with irregularly sized gas cells or alveoli;

  • the odor and the taste of the bread should be tempting, pleasant, and more pronounced than “traditional” French breads, but without any noticeable acidity;

  • the flavor should be pleasant and appetizing, and in addition the bread should exhibit very good keeping qualities for 2 or 3 days.


Wheat Flour Bread Dough Wine Vinegar Fermented Dough French Bread 
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  1. 1.
    The order of the recipes in this chapter is slightly different from the French text. This was done in order to reflect the relative importance of the products in the French marketplace, since the product order in the French text might tend to give the North American reader an inaccurate concept of the importance of such variety products in comparison to more cornmonly encountered breads.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Farine de gruau is a relatively strong flour that was formerly stone milled from the fine outer particles of the wheat berry. This has been replaced in more recent times by the milling of special strong, high protein flours. Although this would at first glance seem to correspond to an American patent flour, in actual practice this is not the case, and patent flour from most American wheat varieties are simply not suitable for French breads. For a more complete discussion of this topic, see the articles which discuss Professor Calvel’s work with American flours at Kansas State University. In actual practice, the relative strength of North American bread flours is such that those appropriate for the other recipes in the book will also work for pain de gruau. Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Again, standard North American bread flour is strong enough to be used in place of farine de gruau in virtually all instances.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    In the United States, the standard for rye bread is given in the Code of Federal Regulations,Chapter 21.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Enzymes are an important factor in rye bread doughs because they remain active for a time following starch gelatinization during baking and break down the starches. This is a desirable effect as long as it is kept at a reasonable level by the inhibiting effect of sourdough or other acidic conditions, and enzymatic action helps to keep the crumb of well-made rye bread tender and relatively moist. Many North American rye flours are low in enzyme activity and can yield drier, tougher results. Although malt products are not traditional ingredients in rye doughs, they can be of benefit in correcting this problem.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Overmixing would break down the relatively small amount of gluten supplied by the wheat flour in the recipe and would adversely affect the volume and structure of the loaf.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    In the United States, one even hears occasionally of 12-grain breads. Many of these additional “grains,” however, are actually seeds or legumes, including such things as tef, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and lentils.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Some technical authors refer to this method as the “four-part” molding method. This “four part” or “multipart” type of molding is especially well suited for use with lidded baking pans, such as for Pullman loaves. It results in one of the better crumb structures among white pan breads and a loaf that hardly ever becomes deformed in baking.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Deformation of loaves in baking or at other production and packaging stages is commonly referred to as “crippling” in the United States, while the deformed loaves are called “cripples.” The origins of this rather politically incorrect term are not known.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    In U.S. and Canadian practice, bread pans are commonly coated with a commercially applied silicone polymer layer to provide excellent product release properties. Current law does not permit the application of these polymer coatings in the bread production facility. Bread pans are regularly sent to outside contractors to have the coatings chemically removed and reapplied. However, some bakers still use uncoated pans, which requires spraying of pans with an edible oil-based release agent at the beginning of each use cycle.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    In the United States, the proportion and type of milk to be used in milk bread or rolls are closely regulated by the Code of Federal Regulations,Chapter 21.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    The two sections must remain connected by a “hinge” of dough approximately 1/10 the thickness of the dough piece.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    On a practical level, almost all normal American bread flours would be suitable for this purpose. Few bakers will be able to obtain Chopin alveograph test results.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    In North American practice, many flours will meet production requirements. Even so, it is advisable to add from 2% to 3% gluten powder and a little ascorbic acid during mixing.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    This is a good practice in any case, since the starch and water film deposited on mixing equipment are an excellent breeding ground for molds and bacteria of many types and may be the source of mold spore contamination of bakery products throughout the production area. Thorough sanitizing of equipment on a regularly scheduled basis is also required by law in many states and localities.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cool pumpkin pulp and cooking water separately to obtain a finished dough temperature of 25° C/77° F at the end of mixing.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Remember that any effort to add a significant amount of cinnamon will inhibit yeast growth, since cinnamon has some antimycotic properties.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Toulouse sausage is the basic French fresh sausage, made from medium ground pork seasoned with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and stuffed into hog casings approximately 11/4 inches in diameter. Italian or other similar sausage may be substituted.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Calvel

There are no affiliations available

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